How to Get Ready for Google Attribution (and Attribution 360) Rollout

In today’s busy marketplace, the path to purchase has become far more complex than it used to be. Consumers are using a variety of devices and channels to navigate the vast variety of touch points with different organizations and brands. Google free and paid Attribution offerings help marketers better understand the impact and value that each of these marketing touch points is responsible for. In this post, we’ll discuss how Google Attribution and Attribution 360 can benefit your business and what you need to do to prepare for its rollout.

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About Google Attribution and Attribution 360

Attribution tools and technologies help your organization leverage a vast amount of data and methodologies that allow you to attribute value to your different marketing campaigns and channels. This allows you to make smarter, data-driven decisions based on the tactics and channels that work best for your organization. Though there are a variety of attribution solutions on the market today, this year, Google announced the launch of both a free and paid attribution solutions that would allow companies to better optimize their marketing campaigns – Google Attribution and Attribution 360.

While multichannel, multi-device attribution can be complex, Google Attribution makes the process more simple by leveraging data that advertisers already have in their Google Analytics, AdWords, or DoubleClick Search accounts. Rather than offering a limited look at last-click impact, this Google tool instead helps your business better understand the customer journey from start to finish. Attribution 360 is a paid version of the tool that is ideal for larger enterprises with more advanced attribution needs. This tool offers advanced features such as TV attribution and a spend optimizer.

How to Prepare for Rollout of Google’s Attribution Tools

If you want to be ready to get the most out of Google Attribution and Attribution 360, you’ll need to take a few steps now to ensure that you’re ready to use these tools when they are widely available.

Below are the steps you’ll need to take to prepare for rollout:

Google Attribution and Attribution 360 Tip #1 – Audit your Google Analytics implementation.

Google Analytics allows you to track who is visiting your digital properties, how they are getting there, and what they are doing once they are there. Google’s attribution platform will allow you to leverage this data to make smarter decisions about these various marketing touchpoints. For this reason, it’s important for you to audit your Google Analytics implementation to ensure that you will be providing these attribution tools with clean data.

Here’s a quick audit checklist to make sure that you are in good shape for rolling out the attribution tools provided by Google:

  • Make sure that you have enabled the advertising reporting features on Google Analytics.
  • If you are currently tracking conversions on Google Analytics, consider and configure your goals and e-commerce tracking.
  • Adjust default channel groupings to break down paid search into branded and non-branded channels and break down display media into prospecting and retargeting.
  • To further split the upper- and lower-funnel marketing activities, you might also consider implementing other breakdowns.
  • Make sure that you have implemented consistent campaign tagging, or UTM parameters, across all non-integrated channels that you want to track attribution for.
  • Make sure that your Google platform integrations like AdWords and DoubleClick are in place and working correctly.

If you plan on using Google’s paid attribution tool, then you will also want to make sure that you’ve created a view that is solely dedicated to attribution. Don’t use a user ID in this view or strip out any URL parameters.

Google Attribution and Attribution 360 Tip #2 – Make sure that your AdWords account is set-up properly.

The first thing that you want to do is make sure that the auto-tagging feature is turned on. This feature helps you track offline conversions by automatically adding a parameter to the URLs that your customers click. Then, ensure that you have linked AdWords to import cost data and also that it is linked with your Google Analytics attribution view.

Google Attribution and Attribution 360 Tip #3 – Configure the DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM)

DoubleClick Campaign Manager is used to track impression data. This means that ideally, you will serve most of your media using DCM or a third-party solution that is tracked by DCM. To ensure that your DoubleClick Campaign Manager is ready for integration, turn on auto-tagging and ensure that impression and click tracking are in place. Make sure that there is accurate media cost data for all your campaigns, and enabled DCM integration within the Google Analytics attribution view.

Google Attribution and Attribution 360 Tip #4 – Check your DoubleClick Search (DS) Setup.

You will also want to review your DoubleClick Search setup to ensure that it is working effectively. First, make sure that auto-tagging is on. Next, you need to enable Google Analytics linking. This allows you to use the information from these auto-tagged URLs to better understand which keywords on AdWords are bringing visitors to your site. Finally, enable DoubleClick Search integration within the Google Analytics attribution view.

Though Google is not the first or only organization to provide attribution tools, Google Attribution and Attribution 360 offer valuable information to any organization that is already leveraging Google platform advertising services. With these tools, you can use the helpful data that you collect to better understand your customers’ journey and which touchpoints are most effective in bringing them to your organization and influencing conversions. Once you’ve gone through the steps addressed here, you will be ready to get the most out of these tools and make more data-driven decisions about your marketing channels and campaigns.

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